Jeev Milkha Singh Keen to Make a Global Impact


New Delhi, Dec 15 (mb): Top Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh wants to emulate the likes of South Africa's Ernie Els as a "global player" by succeeding on different tours despite the rigours of constant travel across continents.  

Singh won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2006 when he won four titles and while he failed to add to the total this year he is confident of a strong 2008.

"This was a very average year," Singh told Reuters. "I put a lot of pressure on myself. It was obviously because of the bar I set for myself after 2006.

"But I'm going to try again in 2008," said Jeev, who turns 36 on Saturday. "I'm playing well, maybe it is an awakening for me. I need to work harder and have a better year.

"There are a few hitches about certain parts of my game, but you have to practise and get over it."

Singh almost snatched a win in his final event in 2007 at the Nippon Series JT Cup until a double bogey on the last hole dropped him into a tie for third.

Singh, who has endured a punishing 40-week schedule over the past two years, has returned to India for a break before he resumes playing in January with the Royal Trophy between Asia and Europe in Thailand.

He will then play in the Middle East before returning home for the inaugural Indian Masters European Tour event and the Johnnie Walker Classic in February.

"A lot of people say playing more tournaments is a disadvantage," he said. "But I personally love playing on different courses, different tours.

"I want to be a global player, I want to be like Ernie Els, I want to play in Europe, in the U.S., a little bit in Japan, a little bit in Asia.

"The only drawback is the travel, the jetlag. It is tough on the body and you become injury prone."

Singh said his first target in 2008 would be to try and break back into the world's top 50 to be automatically eligible for golf's major tournaments. He is currently 79th.

He was also keen on increasing golf's profile in cricket-mad India, and felt with more players joining himself, fellow European Tour regular Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, the first Indian to play on the U.S. PGA tour, on international tours would only be good for the sport.

"Golf in India is the fastest growing sport.

"The media is covering it, Indian players are doing well, there is corporate support and the economy is doing well.

"We've got a lot of talent and we are going to see a lot more younger people come out."


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